The Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) has indefinitely closed Manda Airstrip following the early morning attack by Somalia-based terror group Al-Shabaab.
Airlines operating in the airport have been informing their clients of the closure.
Skyward Express has already sent out a statement to that effect:
We regret to inform passengers traveling with us in and out of Lamu that the airport has been closed until further notice.
The Terror Attack
The terror group was targeting the army barracks located near the airstrip in the wee hours of the morning.
The statement from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) states that the attack was repulsed and that four terrorists lay dead.
“This morning at around 5:30 am an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip. The attempted breach was successfully repulsed. Four terrorists bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe. Arising from the unsuccessful breach a fire broke out affecting some of the fuel tanks located at the airstrip. The fire has been put under control and standard security procedures are now on-going”. – Col Paul Njuguna, a Spokesman for the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF)
Photos circulated online showed thick back smoke billowing from the airstrip on Sunday morning, in what Col Njuguna said was “fire that broke out affecting some of the fuel tanks located at the airstrip.”
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia too confirmed “Yes there was an incident in the morning but we have been able to push them away,” he said, “However, we are not sure if there are still remnants within.”